Hello loyal readers! As you probably know, I bleed Georgia Bulldog red and black. This has been a roller coaster start to the 2016 season. A first-time head coach and a true freshman at the helms has made it a very interesting beginning to the season. From getting absolutely pounded by Ole Miss, to losing the Tennessee game on a prayer (literally), to getting beat by measly Vanderbilt, this team just seems like it hasn’t found its identity.
I am getting very frustrated with recent chatter about how Georgia shouldn’t have jumped straight to Kirby Smart before considering other options. Fans around the country are already saying Kirby should be fired. I just can’t grasp how comments like these are already being made on a brand new head coach 7 games into his tenure. We gave Mark Richt 15 years before enough was enough. Can we not at least give Kirby several years to build his team? Most of the players aren’t even his recruits.
He’ll Get the Job Done!
I’m here to urge all UGA fans (and maybe convince myself) to not give up on Kirby Smart yet. This guy will get the job done. Nick Saban groomed him well and he is a UGA alumni and former player. It always takes time when a new coach takes the lead to get a winning team together. Nothing happens overnight – especially in college football. Kirby has proven through his years at Bama that he has the leadership skills needed to be a successful coach in the SEC. He’s helped win some very big games for the Crimson Tide, and it’s only a matter of time before that experience rolls into Athens.
Jacob Eason Will Improve!
Jacob Eason has been performing exactly as I expected a true freshman quarterback to perform in his first 7 games. I see many things he’s doing wrong today that he will correct as he gains experience. He’s done a fairly decent job passing the ball, but accuracy is something he needs to work on. That too will come with experience.
Nick Chubb is Still a Great RB!
We all know Nick Chubb worked his tail off following his gruesome injury in the Tennessee game last year, and he looks like he’s almost back to 100%. There is something different about Chubb this year though. He’s only had a few games where I have felt like the old Chubb was back. Maybe it’s because defenses are stacking the box to reduce the chance of him breaking out into big dashes.
Luckily, we’ve had solid performances this year from Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie. These two guys are perfect supporting cast members for Chubb. I’m actually beginning to become convinced Michel is faster and more talented than Chubb is, and that’s saying a lot. These guys aren’t turning the ball over much, if at all. Ball control is crucial to winning in the SEC.
Our Defense is Getting Better!
Defensively, this team has done ok, minus a few games here and there. I think we will see an improved defense towards the latter half of this season and an even more improved defense going into next season. There have been plays where I think Kirby was outcoached, and then plays where it looked like it couldn’t have been drawn up any better.
Hunker Down, Dawg Fans!
So Dawg fans, although this has been a disappointing season, let’s not forget that we wanted the change, and we got it. Mark Richt did a lot for UGA, and in some ways is still doing a lot for the school. Most of the players on the current team are HIS recruits – not Kirby’s. I think the change in coaching was needed, but it’s going to take more time to get this team up and running smoothly. I, for one, will not be calling for his head this year. To me, this season is all about finding out what we have and how to make it work. There is no question we have a ton of talent just waiting to win us a national championship. So let’s be patient and give Kirby an opportunity to build a winning team.
I’m headed down to Lexington on November 5th to watch my Dawgs take on Kentucky. We stomped them last year, so I am hoping for the same result this year. I’m a little nervous about it this year because we should have stomped Vandy, but came up short. Will we come up short again? I hope not!